Social Scientist. v 6, no. 71 (June 1978) p. 35.


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S K MITTAL KAPIL KUMAR

Baba Ram Chandra and Peasant Upsurge in Oudh: ig2o-2i

NEW TRENDS in historical research has brought 'the peasant' and their ^struggles' into some prominence. Of late a new assessment of peasant struggles in India has come to occupy considerable space in the pages of western literature.1 Some Indian writers have also attempted to shed light on one or the other aspect of the struggles of the Indian peasantry.2 Peasants themselves are no longer treated as the ^object of history9 and a non-contributing class to historical and political change. They are seen to have often played a crucial, and at times decisive, role in accelerating the pace of national liberation and transformation. Jawaharlal Nehru has noted how the peasantry, ^turned to the Congress and gave it its real strength"8. Unfortunately, the Congress, because of the class-interests of its leadership, failed to harness this strength for a broad-based, revolutionary transformation. The object of this paper is to highlight some aspects of the peasant struggle of Oudh, and the role played by Baba Ram Chandra, a forgotten hero of the struggle, in it.

The Agrarian Situation in Oudh

The exploitation of and the tyranny practised against the Oudh peasantry by the rapacious landlords and their minions are a known reality in the annals of peasant history. After the Mutiny of 1857, the British created and buttressed a small class of taluqdars in Oudh to help



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